Photographer of the Day: Paul Zizka

Tell us a bit about you and your background:

I am a mountain landscape and adventure photographer based in Banff, Alberta. I grew up in Quebec City, made my way West, fell in love with the mountains and never left. I am now based in Banff, Alberta with my wife, who is a key member of the Paul ZIzka Photography team, and two daughters.

What was your motivation to start photography?

I started out like a lot of people: with a point-and-shoot camera documenting my own adventures for folks back home. It began as a way of chronicling my experiences in the mountains. As I became increasingly fascinated with the interplay of light, weather, and landscape, I started taking photography more seriously. I bought my first DSLR in 2007 and dove into photography full-time in 2010. 

What motivates me? Leaving suburbia to live in the mountains, it has become increasingly apparent to me that humans have become disconnected from the natural world. We have, essentially, walked away from nature. I believe reconnecting with nature is a big part of solving common world issues and I feel I can play a role in reminding people of this crucial connection to nature.

How would you describe your photography style?

I have a passion for shooting alpine sports and backcountry experiences. My photography style aims to capture the spirit of adventure. I push myself to find unusual angles of common mountain subjects. As an astrophotographer, I also enjoy capturing nature’s unique beauty and features that come with a night sky.

Where in the world is your favourite place to photograph and why?

I’ve been fortunate to travel quite a lot for photography but what excites me most are all the beautiful places I have become familiar with by daylight in the Canadian Rockies. Astrophotography has allowed me to rediscover the places I love and see them in a new way. If I had to pick a close second it would be Greenland. 

Apart from your camera, what is your most essential travel item?

My family. It means the world to us to be able to travel with our kids, ages 2 and 7, in tow and show them the world outside the one they live in every day. We’ve so far taken them to New Zealand, Polynesia, Belize, Rapa Nui, Hawaii, Ireland and Malta. I can’t wait for the chance to travel with them again! 

 What is next for you and your photography?

If stars align, I’ll be leading photography workshops next year in The Rockies, Easter Island, Mongolia and the Faroe Islands, to name a few destinations. Until then, I’ll be continuing to explore lesser-visited corners of the Canadian Rockies and find new perspectives on iconic spots. I’ll also be exploring different ways to share my outdoor adventures and my knowledge of capturing these experiences with a camera — stay tuned! And while we wait for the world to open up, I have launched into some online teaching around astrophotography and blending in photography, which people can find on my website.

To see more of Paul’s work follow the link below: